Trippie Redd – “Geronimo” (Feat. Chino Moreno & Travis Barker)
Last year, Machine Gun Kelly decided that he was a punk. After about a decade as a major-label rapper and occasional actor, MGK teamed up with Travis Barker and recorded Tickets To My Downfall, an album of straight-up mid-’00s Warped Tour pop-punk. It was weird! It was also successful. Tickets To My Downfall immediately became Machine Gun Kelly’s first-ever #1 album, and now it seems like a whole lot of other rappers are about to follow in his wake. Today, Trippie Redd, Machine Gun Kelly’s fellow questionably tattooed Midwestern rap B-teamer, has pulled a Machine Gun Kelly. He’s come out with a whole rock album, and he’s done it with Travis Barker’s assistance.
To be fair to Trippie Redd, he was never exactly a rapper. Instead, Trippie mostly delivered his lyrics in a hoarse singsong wail that certainly owed some stylistic debts to nü metal and to ’00s radio-rock. Last year, Trippie released his album Pegasus, which was positioned as a down-the-middle rap record with guest spots from people like Chris Brown and Future. Today, Trippie has followed it with something called Neon Shark. It’s actually officially an expanded edition of Pegasus, and its full title is Neon Shark Vs. Pegasus [Deluxe – Presented By Travis Barker]. In practice, though, Neon Shark is a full-album rock experiment, recorded with Blink-182’s drummer.
Unlike Tickets To My Downfall, Neon Shark isn’t really a pop-punk album. Instead, it’s a work of genre-free sad-angry-guy music, with notes of nü metal and emo and goth, usually with trap drums underneath. Machine Gun Kelly shows up on the album, and people like Blackbear and ZillaKami also make guest appearances. But the weirdest moment on the album is definitely the one where Deftones frontman Chino Moreno comes through. On “Geronimo,” Moreno sings in his desperate whine-roar-coo, while Trippie Redd does his best Chino Moreno. Travis Barker co-produced the track with Dark Waves, a former indie-pop solo guy who used to be in Warped Tour bands and who then became a co-writer for radio-rock bands and then for Machine Gun Kelly. The track definitely aims for Deftones-style dream-rock catharsis. I have no idea what to think of it, but you can hear it below.
Neon Shark Vs. Pegasus [Deluxe – Presented By Travis Barker] is out now on TenThousand Projects/Caroline/1400 Entertainment.